What are common deflection limits for a floor joist? What about exterior or interior walls?

The building component deflection criteria should be determined by the Engineer of Record familiar with the building materials that will be attached to the component. Sometimes the deflection limitation is determined by a code minimum, floor vibrations under loading, or the flexibility (or in-flexibility) of the materials attached to the component.Common limits are as follows for both dead loads and live loads:

  • Floor joist – L/240
  • Exterior walls with plaster or stucco finishes –L/360
  • Exterior walls with flexible finishes – L/120
  • Interior walls – L/120

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